Easter Eggs 101

March 30, 2010

Easter Eggs 101

Easter is just a few days away and many shoppers are busy buying up all the eggs for the yearly Easter egg hunt and egg decorating tradition. Supermarketguru.com wants to remind you not to forget your basic food safety rules when celebrating with family and friends, so we have provided some tips on how to handle eggs safely at Easter and of course all year round.

Keep fresh eggs refrigerated until it's time to cook them. Store eggs inside the carton, securely fastened. Also, though it may sound counter-intuitive, don't keep your eggs in the special egg unit in the door of your refrigerator. Though it may be handy, it actually prevents proper airflow to your eggs and the door’s temperature is not as constant as the inside of the refrigerator.

Wash your hands! Take care when cooking, cooling, dying or hiding eggs- Shells are very porous and thus bacteria can penetrate. Most commercial eggs are lightly coated with a thin spray of mineral oil to close the pores. When eggs are boiled, the mineral oil barrier is removed and hard boiled eggs are again prone to contamination. Remember to handle them properly; make sure your hands and cooking surfaces are clean!

How to boil a perfect Easter egg? Place eggs in a saucepan or pot so that the eggs are in a single layer. Add water so that it covers eggs by about 1 inch. Add a tablespoon of vinegar (optional) to allow better dye coverage. Cover and cook on high until the water is just about boiling. Turn off/ remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Place eggs in ice water or under cool running water until completely cooled. Refrigerate.

Remember that when hiding Easter eggs, they may come into contact with pets, birds, insects, etc. or lawn chemicals. If you plan to eat decorated eggs after the hunt, make sure the shell is removed with great care- you may also want to rinse the egg before consuming.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends cooking eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm, not runny. This ensures that any Salmonella or other harmful bacteria that may be in the eggs, will be destroyed.

For more information on eggs, visit the FDA , American Egg Board and don’t forget about the famous White House, Easter Egg Roll on April 5th. This year’s theme is ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ promoting health and wellness.